Power, Control, and the Gender Gap in Delinquency: Reconsidering the Gendered Translation of Power from Workplace to Household

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Title: Power, Control, and the Gender Gap in Delinquency: Reconsidering the Gendered Translation of Power from Workplace to Household
Author: Cornell, Rena
Advisors: Maxine Atkinson, Committee Member
Stacy De Coster, Committee Chair
Rodney Engen, Committee Member
Abstract: Power-control theory provides one of most comprehensive theoretical explorations of the gender gap in delinquency to date. The theory posits that the relative power of husbands and wives in the workplace translates directly into their relative power within the home. Household power relations, in turn, are played out in the relative control of sons and daughters, influencing ultimately the gender gap in delinquency through social psychological processes of familial control and socialization toward risk. This paper reformulates power-control theory in two important ways. First, it borrows from the family and gender literature on status-reversal and single mother households to critique the simplistic discussion of the translation of gendered power relations from workplaces to households. In doing so, the paper specifies an alternative discussion of power relations and family structures. Second, the paper draws upon criminological research and theorizing on gender and delinquency to posit a more thorough discussion of the social psychological mechanisms linking gendered power differentials to the gender gap in delinquency. Thus, the paper presents a reformulation of power-control theory that reconsiders both structural-level power differentials between mothers and fathers and individual-level processes of control and socialization of sons and daughters. From this reformulation, I derive and test hypotheses using a nationally representative sample of youths. The results suggest that further consideration of how power translates from workplaces to households is necessary and also provide some support for recent theorizing about gender differences in the social psychological mechanisms leading to the gender gap in delinquency.
Date: 2005-04-19
Degree: MS
Discipline: Sociology
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/2940


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